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Mansion final on tap, or is it?

August 18, 2008 - Neil Rudel

The curtain will be drawn on the annual recreation scene in Blair County tonight with the championship games of the Mansion Park Summer Basketball League.

It's the annual signal that summer is ending, and football season and a return to school is upon us.

The Division I game typically draws 200-300 people, sometimes more, forming a unique backdrop on bleachers and lined 3-4 deep around Court No. 1.

Only tonight may be different. The game between Uno's Chicago Grill and Guy Landolfi may result in an Uno's forfeit after league standout and Uno's leader Tyler Franklin suggested his team may not have enough players.

Franklin was frustrated over the decision to rain out the games this past Thursday night. Rain fell shortly before the first of three tipoffs (at 5:45) and the courts were soaked by 6:30. That would have pushed all three games back significantly, thus the decision was made to play tonight.

The fact that the games were scheduled to be televised on the Altoona Public Access Channel was another factor as equipment had to be brought in and set up.

Franklin said a couple of his players were leaving for vacation and Uno's may not be able to field a team. That would be too bad, for Uno's and the league.

But I would suggest that there hasn't been a rainout during the playoffs this year and if the league ends tonight, it's still only Aug. 18.

Many championship games over the years have been played after Aug. 20, or even Aug. 25 so to not have a roster speaks to questionable planning.

Then there was the matter of suggesting Friday, Aug. 15 be used. The league needs a special approval to play on Friday since it's traditionally Monday through Thursday unless a late-season rainout is needed to be made up on a Saturday in order to get the playoffs started.

If Friday would have been used, would Friday have become an annual consideration when teams are scrambling and players are leaving for school, etc.? And if it was done this year, would it have been considered next year?

It says here the right call was made last week, and let's hope for a final befitting the league tonight.


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